1408: Mark Hofmann Forgeries and Mormon Church Cover-ups – John Hamer

Join us today as the brilliant John Hamer returns to help us dig deeper into:

  1. The main Mark Hofmann Forgeries, and
  2. The main attempts to “cover-up” unfavorable history by the Mormon church.

A copy of John Hamer’s PDF can be found here.


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  1. Great interview with John Hamer. Learned a lot more details of Mark Hofmann affair. It appears crystal clear to many that LDS leaders were duped by Hofmann and there’s no getting around it. Mr Dehlin, it would be fantastic if you could interview Hofmann in Prison, so he can fill-in the blanks that Mormon historians can only speculate on. Does anyone know if Hofmann ever wrote his memoirs. I too was raised in the 60’s & 70’s and believed what was taught at face value. It seemed no one ever doubted Church policies or doctrines. I believe Hofmann was trying to shine a bright light on the dark side that was Church leadership at the time. Just wondering if Hofmann’s story has changed since the criminal investigation documents and court transcripts exposed his motives. Perhaps a telephonic interview can be set-up like what was done with David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam” serial murderer, currently serving a life sentence in the New York prison system.

  2. John Hamer, you mentioned that Joseph may have laid aside polygamy toward the end of his life and that is why he stopped wearing his garments? Did I hear that right? That suggests that the endowment is directly linked to polygamy and keeping it secret and that where there is no polygamy, the garments (and the endowment?) are pointless. Where can I learn more about this?

    1. Heber Kimball recorded in his diary that Joseph Smith got rid of his garments prior to going to Carthage and told those who accompanied him to do likewise. William Clayton recorded that John Taylor confirmed this. Garments were associated with secrecy and with polygamy. Todd Compton, I believe has said that Joseph Smith Jr didn’t take any new wives in the last months of his life. Joseph and Emma burned the original document that later became LDS D&C 132 together (however, some people retained copies.) William Marks recorded that Joseph came to him in the last days and told him polygamy would destroy the church and must be eliminated. Brigham Young said things to the effect when Joseph went to Carthage he didn’t have a particle of light left in him. Essentially, there is reason to believe that Joseph realized in the end that his practice of polygamy (including sealing, garments, etc) was a horrible mistake, but by then it was too late. And when Brigham Young usurped control over the church’s headquarters apparatus, he made sure polygamy and all its related practices would be retained.

      1. This is so fascinating, thank you for sharing and doing this interview. I recently listened to an interview you did several years ago with Lindsay Hansen Park about the life of Emma Smith and remember you mentioned the William Marks record that Joseph said polygamy needed to be eliminated. I also really appreciated the idea you shared in that interview that towards the end of Joseph’s life/during much of the Nauvoo period, there was effectively no “checks” in place for Joseph as the prophet, as those who had opposed him regarding polygamy, etc. had been excommunicated or otherwise removed from positions of influence with Joseph. It’s basically the historical details that help me frame my opinion (which I recognize is just my opinion), that Joseph kind of went off the rails at some point, and these extra details regarding his choices/potential statements in the last 6 months or so of life may even suggest he recognized it as well.

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